Erlin Garcia-Reyes, the man law enforcement officials say is responsible for the hit-and-run death of Seattle photographer and bicyclist Michael Wang, originally pleaded not guilty to the charges against him. Yesterday, Garcia-Reyes apparently changed his mind.
As the Seattle Times reported this morning, Garcia-Reyes pleaded guilty to felony hit-and-run Tuesday and will now face a prison sentence of two years and seven months to three years and five months. Garcia-Reyes' sentencing hearing is set for Aug. 10.
Charging documents filed in the case describe the crime:
On Thursday, July 28, 2011, at approximately 3:44 p.m., the defendant, Erlin Garcia-Reyes, was driving his Chevy Suburban to his job. He turned left in front of an on-coming bicyclist who was unable to slow or stop sufficiently and struck the side of the defendant's vehicle.
The bicyclist, 44yO Michael Wang, came off the bike and ended up under the defendant's vehicle, which then paused and appears to have driven over his chest causing catastrophic crushing injuries. The defendant did not exit his SUV or provide any information or aid to Mr. Wang. He was seen speeding away. Mr. Wang was pronounced dead at 4:15 p.m.
While preparing to contact Garcia-Reyes about Wang's death after receiving a tip that he was involved in the crime, investigators learned he had already been arrested and was in custody for a completely separate hit-and-run crime involving a Seattle-area business that occurred in early June of this year. In that incident, authorities say Garcia-Reyes drove an SUV into the front door of a business on Greenwood Ave. N. and N. 105th in Seattle before fleeing.